The quiet month

Last updated : 02 July 2007 By Tony Scholes
Stuart Parnaby - signed for Birmingham
We'd already added Gabor Kiraly to the squad in May, but manager Steve Cotterill repeated his warning that he didn't expect there to be much, if any, further transfer activity during June, that much of it would come once contracts had ended in July and teams were returning to training.

That said there was a burst of activity at the beginning of the month, although the first bit of news was the signing of a pie firm. I think most of us knew that Holland's Pies would be the new name on the Burnley shirt, and this was finally announced once the contract had come to an end with the previous sponsor. Holland's would be 'emblazoned' on the front and the back of the new, still to be revealed, shirts but there would be no sign of a pie.

At the end of the previous month we were linked with Polish striker Marek Saganowski. He'd had a very successful loan with Southampton in the last few months of last season, and that looked to be his likely destination after the Saints had agreed an option with his French club Troyes.

Even so, this was a boost for Clarets' fans who looked at the calibre of player we were chasing and as that news died down we learned that the Premiership player we'd just missed out on was Middlesbrough's Stuart Parnaby. Cotterill had been confident of getting the full back but at the last minute he took the option to remain in the Premiership and go to Birmingham.

Later in the week the new home kit was launched, and generally it met with approval although there was concern once again at the lack of blue, one of the two club colours, on the shirt. It is a somewhat more traditional shirt, and it looks like a football shirt which is more than can be said for the one we used last season.

One big debate over last season was the club's decision to scrap the reserve side. Some felt it prevented squad players from retaining fitness whilst others felt it was the correct decision to protect the young lads in the youth squad from having to play too many games. The debate is over, the reserves are back, and once again will play their home games at Accrington which has been the reserve team's home since the beginning of 2005.

The second week in June brought some stunning news. It started as a leak on the Monday but eventually, by Wednesday, the club confirmed the signing of Albanian international Besart Berisha from SV Hamburg. The fee was revealed at £340,000 but the deal would be held up because the player needed a work permit and we would have to go to appeal in a couple of weeks time.

That news had everyone looking forward to the new season, and it took a step nearer with the publishing of the fixtures. We got a taster with the Carling Cup draw and a trip to Grimsby, and that was followed a day later with the league fixtures and a home game against West Brom to start.

Kyle Lafferty - not for sale
There was sad news from Turf Moor at the end of that week with the sudden death of former secretary Albert Maddox at the age of 85. Albert had been part of Burnley Football Club for many years and even after his eventual final retirement had remained a supporter, attending virtually all the home games at Turf Moor.

A new week brought a new challenge, fighting off the latest bid for Kyle Lafferty. In January it was Celtic, this time it was Wolves despite them having been told he's not for sale. The offer finally came in, we quickly dismissed it and told them to go away. And told the football world that Kyle Lafferty is not for sale.

It's only three years since Kyle arrived at Burnley as an apprentice and as the club confirmed he'd be going nowhere there were another eleven potential Kyles signing in as the club took on the new intake of apprentices. They join the six remaining second year apprentices and good luck to all of them as they set out on the road to hopefully professional careers.

Players not for sale, new apprentices within the ever improving youth development team at Burnley and then the big news as new director spoke to Tony Livesey. There was a taster on television before a full in depth interview on radio.

Exciting football, massive ground improvements, and plans to get the Premiership in the next few years. No wonder fans were excited - the message board on Clarets Mad took off with suggestions and ideas on what could happen.

One player who won't be joining the Turf Moor revolution is Clarke Carlisle. We were linked with him, but there is nothing in it and it was quickly dismissed by Steve Cotterill as he prepared to fly out to Spain to check out some players. He also admitted that we had little chance of getting Eric Djemba-Djemba back to Burnley next season with Villa now looking to sell the player.

The last few days of the month saw us reveal our new white away kit, brought the news that Saganowski had indeed signed for Southampton - but the big news came last Thursday when the appeals panel awarded us a three year work permit for Berisha who is now expected to arrive this week in readiness for pre-season training.

The quiet month is over, this month sees us back in training, playing six of our seven pre-season games. It will see further new signings and there should be news of the Turf Moor development. Not just as quiet as June.